Jesus Revolution is the true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970's and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California. Kelsey Grammer portrays Pastor Chuck Smith who opens the doors of his church to a group of wayward hippies that are looking for the truth and guidance in the world.
Joel Courtney plays lost teenager, Greg Laurie, who knows that something is missing in his life. He has tried drugs, but that has not worked. When he meets Lonnie Frisbee (played by The Chosen‘s Jonathan Roumie) he is introduced to religion. Although he is scared to accept Jesus at first, he ultimately feels welcomed into the group.
The message of the movie is one of love and acceptance. Even those who are not religious can find something to enjoy in this film as it is a beautiful story that is sure to warm a lot of hearts. The cast delivers great performances as well, in particular Kelsey Grammer and Jonathan Roumie.
Teaches Viewers What Is Important
Jesus Revolution focuses a lot of the first act on teaching viewers to not judge a book by its cover. When the hippies are welcomed into the church, many of the older, longstanding, members of the church leave. There is no real rhyme or reason as to why, except that they are being hypocritical.
Christians believe that Jesus forgives, accepts, and loves everyone, so why would He not want to welcome these new members into the church, especially when they so clearly need direction. Many of these hippies have tried to find the truth by using drugs, and as they try to get help, they are pushed away?
This movie uncovers a lot of the hypocrisy and problems with the church, and it is interesting to see how it all actually played out in the 1970’s. Especially since we know that many of these issues are still here in the present day, depending on where you go and who you talk to.
Do You Have To Be Religious To Enjoy Jesus Revolution?
Those who are not religious might question if Jesus Revolution is a movie that they will be able to enjoy. The answer? Yes. Sure, this movie is about Christianity, but it is also about releasing judgment, acceptance, and finding your place in the world.
The music is quite catchy, even if you don’t wholeheartedly believe in the message that it is spreading. On top of that, Kelsey Grammer and Jonathan Roumie give incredible performances. Roumie’s character opens up the eyes of Grammer’s character and again, whether you believe in God or not, they are electric on screen together.
Missing Some Conflict
It doesn’t take long for Grammer’s character to change his mind. While he is a Pastor, so this makes sense that he would wish to shepherd the lost along their journey, Jesus Revolution would have worked better with a little more conflict. This is probably the biggest issue in the movie as the hurdle of getting him to let the hippies into his church is very quickly overcome – like within minutes.
Other conflicts come and go, but they are solved almost as quickly as the first. Unfortunately, the stakes don’t feel very high because of how “sunshine and rainbows” the overall message is, however it is still a beautiful film to watch, regardless of your beliefs.
Jesus Revolution is a movie that might not be for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it is only for Christians. It delivers on an interesting story that, while a bit too long, remains entertaining and touching throughout. There are messages of love and acceptance, no matter what you look like, which is a powerful one and one that is spread through all sorts of movies, not just religious ones.
There are some truly great moments on screen thanks to incredible performances by the actors involved. While there is the issue of conflicts getting resolved too quickly, this shouldn’t be that big of a surprise as the movie itself is there to promote the positive side of the world.
The final moments of the film show footage and photos that depict the true story of the Jesus Revolution, which proves how accurate the film got it, and we highly recommend sticking around to watch them.
Rating: 7/10 SPECS
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Tessa Smith owns MamasGeeky.com and is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic and a huge geek. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics associations including the Critics Choice Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association. She grew up watching movies, playing video games, and reading comic books -- and still loves all of those things. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and spreads the word that there is nothing wrong with being a geek.